Port Carling



Situated on the Indian River between Lake Rosseau and Lake Muskoka, Muskoka’s oldest community known as Port Carling was originally settled by the Ojibwe in the 1850s, who called the land Obogawanung (or Obajewanung, meaning “gathering place”). By the 1860s, with increasing development in the Muskoka area, and an onslaught of European settlers arriving, the Ojibwe moved to Parry Sound and the area was developed as part of Medora Township. The first post office was established in 1869 by Benjamin Hardcastle Johnston, at which point he named the community Port Carling in honour of Ontario Minister of Public Works, John Carling, who was instrumental in the development of the locks between Lake Rosseau and Lake Muskoka. With Carling’s support, the locks were completed in 1871 which, coupled with the Port Sandfield canal between Lake Rosseau and Lake Joseph, linked the three Muskoka Lakes together, and led to an economic boom with a staggering increase in logging and tourism. Development moved quickly in this era, with the construction of many summer homes, resorts, and sawmills resulting from the optimistic economic situation. Port Carling’s location in the Muskoka Lakes system and the connection it provides between Lake Muskoka and Lake Rosseau has earned it the moniker Hub of the Lakes. In 1896, Port Carling gained independence from the Township of Medora, becoming an incorporated village; which it remained until 1971, when it merged with the Township of Muskoka Lakes.

Today, as well as being known for summer fun, Port Carling is also host to a three-day Winterfest in February.

To learn about what’s waiting for you in Port Carling – and where to find Chamber members there – use our Member Search.